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Overhead Center

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2

Children are eager to work at this fun center because they love using the projector.

Organization and Routines

Designate a Space—Find a space in your room that can accommodate your overhead projector and allow it to project against an open surface. If you have a low easel, you can place the overhead projector on the floor and have it project onto the easel. It can also project onto wall space if an easel is not available. Just tape a large piece of blank chart paper to the wall for a clean surface to project on. In order to make the overhead portable, you can place it on a small scooter or a filing cabinet rolling base.

Using the Overhead Projector—In a manila envelope, I store transparencies for children to use with the overhead projector.

Overhead Center in Motion

The overhead projector is a great tool for helping students revisit poems that you have previously shared in class. Each time we complete a poem in class, I copy it onto a transparency and place it in an envelope near the overhead. This gives students a large variety of poems to choose from.

Once students have selected a poem, they place it on the overhead projector and turn it on. Next, students take turns using a pointer to point to each word in the poem as they read it. This is a great activity for building fluency and expression.

At the very bottom of each poem transparency, I write four high-frequency words that I want students to hunt for in the poem. Once they have read the poem several times, their job is to locate and highlight the high-frequency words.

I also have students use a fly swatter that has a window cut out to assist them in locating the high-frequency words. If the projection is on a white board or chalkboard, have students underline or circle the high-frequency words in the poem.


This is an excerpt from Literacy Centers in Photographs by Nikki Campo-Stallone.

  • Subjects:
    Early Learning, Classroom Management, Independent Reading, Reading Fluency, Word Recognition, Early Reading, New Teacher Resources, Teacher Tips and Strategies, Technology, Educational Technology
  • Skills:
    Fluency
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